Arash Aramesh interviews a political operative with close ties to Rafsanjani, who is "down but not out":

What Rafsanjani did was that he convinced Mahdavi-Kani to run. This man is a very conservative but a moderate cleric. Rafsanjani and Mahdavi-Kani have been political allies for many years. This [Mahdavi-Kani’s nomination and subsequent victory] was a team effort led by Rafsanjani. ... Rafsanjani’s political astuteness led him to convince Mahdavi-Kani to run and deny a hardliner such as Jannati, Yazdi, or Mesbah-Yazdi the highest position in the Assembly.

The operative notes that Rafsanjani "is still the Chairman of the Expediency Council and has enormous economic influence."

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